Drove the X1 sDrive28i today
My sister's suddenly in the market and after I sent a list of replacements for her 328xi, she seemed most interested in the X1. We ambled over to the dealer and they had an apparently stripped X1 sDrive28i.
We got into it and immediately all of us (between us 6 BMWs owned) thought it was a base model with ette. Everything felt rough and cheap to the touch - essentially on par with something like my current car (a Mazda3, not my e46 or e90s). About 5 minutes in we figured out (reading is so helpful!) that the car had premium package and therefore leather. Um.. what the blazes? Not a single one of us felt the leather even resembled leather!
From the driver's seat the car very much conveyed taller e9x. Everything fell to hand as expected. The taller/heavier X1 handled curves decently but there's no denying the higher center of gravity distorts the car's handling. It's still pretty nimble on backroads. While the sDrive is not as sure footed as an e90 or as impossibly sticky as an X5, it does convey more to the driver than the rather dull sport-equipped F30. You can feel the e9x chassis' genes at work in the car.
As is typical in my experience with the new 8AT, the shifts were rough, delayed and the transmission always felt like it was hunting, unable to locate a good gear. DS mode added to the brutality. The manual shifting option pushed through gears quickly but again the rev-range was so limited by the turbo engine and gearing that the car was always changing up and down. At each stop, excluding the intrusive auto stop/start, the engine always hesitated on tip-in. Not a tiny bit but significantly, as if the car were always wondering, "You sure you really want to go?" Match these two qualities - bad automatic and weird throttle - and this car moved off my want list instantly.
The backseat felt tighter than an e9x sedan or wagon. No rear HVAC. What the hell? The e9x has those! Come on, it's like 95 degrees today, the backseats of the X1 felt like I was suddenly in 1985 and I'm riding in a friend's parent's AMC Eagle with vinyl seats. Only the space is worse. Really not pleasant in the backseat for more than 10 minutes.
Trunk space is decent. Seems smaller than the F30 and maybe a tad bigger than the e9x sedan.
Overall, for 38k this car felt a tad outlandish. This car lacked xenons, metallic paint and heated seats too - so the real price would push 40k. 40k for this? No. 35k loaded up with manual, xenons, sport sounds reasonable enough for BMW handling (low quality materials ignored). 40k with those things, the annoyance of a sunroof and an automatic? No.
Sister loved it and thinks it's better than her 328xi. She'll be pushing 42k with all the features she wants. I'm going to take her to check out some other vehicles just so she can get a sense of what 42k should buy...
Last edited by brkf; 08-18-2012 at 04:39 PM.